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Preview: Game Day #68, Predators @ Kings

The first game in the Neža era. (Congrats, Kopitar family!)

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Nashville Predators @ Los Angeles Kings (Staples Center)

Time: 7:00 PM

TV: Fox Sports West

Enemy Reading: On the Forecheck

Lineups:

Nashville Predators

Forsberg–Ribeiro–Neal
Wilson–Fisher–Smith
Stalberg–Santorelli–Cullen
Bourque– Gaustad–Beck

Josi–Weber
Jones–Franson
Ekholm–Ellis

Rinne
(Hutton)

Injured: Nystrom; Scratched: Jarnkrok, Bartley, Volchenkov

Los Angeles Kings

Gaborik–Kopitar–Lewis
King–Carter–Toffoli
Clifford–Shore–Williams
Brown–Andreoff–Nolan

Regehr–Doughty
Muzzin–Greene
McNabb–Sekera

Quick
(Jones)

Scratched: McBain; Injured: Martinez, Stoll, Pearson; Suspended: Voynov

Game Notes:

  • Anze Kopitar's daughter, Neža, was born today! Kopitar is still expected to play in tonight's game. Well-timed homestand, eh?
  • And yeah, it's only two games, but I guess that fits the formal definition of a homestand. The Kings are earning 70% of the possible points in home games this season, but only 59% of the possible points in road games this season.
  • In contrast, Jarret Stoll is expected to MISS tonight's contest with an upper-body injury. A lot of observers have raised the below hit from Derek Dorsett as a likely culprit, though Stoll returned after the hit.
  • That means, once again, Andy Andreoff has a chance to earn his first NHL point.
  • Nashville has lost seven out of eight, dropping them all the way to... tied for first in the Central Division and tied for second in the West. They were really, really good for a while.
  • The Predators' only win since February 24 was over the Arizona Coyotes, so that's the rut they're in. Pekka Rinne, who's in goal tonight, has a .920 save percentage in March, so you can't blame him. The Preds DID play well on Thursday against San Jose, but Antti Niemi outdueled Rinne in the 2-0 Sharks victory.
  • PREDICTION: Kopitar does something awesome. But since that happens almost every game...
  • ACTUAL PREDICTION: Kopitar scores for the second straight game.